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Crooked Rain Crooked Rain

music reviewmusic reviewmusic review  out of 4 Music Review: Crooked Rain Crooked Rain

Artist: Pavement
Genre: Rock/Pop
Release Date: June 1999

Review by LarryG
3 stars out of 4

Pavement were one of the most interesting bands of the 90's, putting out a series of challenging records. Some prefer the looser, more scattered Slanted & Enchanted but I think CR, CR is their best, showing their ability to work within the format of a standard rock record but definitely showing their own personality. Leader Stephen Malkmus is a gifted guitar player and a bright guy who knows how to construct a great rock song but seems bored by doing things too straigt. Cut Your Hair, the catchiest song Pavement's ever done, crystalizes the Pavement ethic. Its enjoyably dopey hooks, complete with perky background vocals, show they can make accessible music that would appeal beyond their adoring college radio base. But the song is about "selling out". In the middle Malkmus screams about the tension of "career, career, career" as if to admit that doing music for a living instead of just to goof around is embarrassing. Still, the band's desire to do things differently, without pop sheen, is its great appeal. Not every band would dis alternative stars and presumed fans Stone Temple Pilots and Smashing Pumpkins like they do on Range Life. Crooked Rain is the band's most tuneful record. Silence Kit is surprisingly reminiscent of Buddy Holly's Everyday. Gold Sounds makes fun of pop convention, including the line "we're coming to the chorus now" but is a charming pop song, using Malkmus' wavering vocals and loose playing but building to a rocking climax. Malkmus mixes flip smart ass lyrics and sincere expressions. When he wearily sings in the dreamy finale, Fillmore Jive, "I need to sleep", he sounds like he's been through a lot and means what he says.

Here's what others reviewers have to say:

" album that's darker and more beguiling than their heralded previous efforts....CROOKED RAIN's clean production and insidiously catchy melodies hardly signify that Pavement have sold out--if anything, their vision is more warped and caustic than before...."  4 Stars (out of 5)     Rolling Stone 2/24/94, p.55

" heart, CROOKED RAIN is an album that celebrates and denigrates album largely about the plight of rock bands that, like Pavement, are poised between critical and popular success...." New York Times 3/13/94, p.38



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